Margaret River-based landscaper Steve Bolesta describes himself as a “closet tragic” for the West Coast Eagles but when a mate bought him a ticket to this weekend’s grand final, a little Margaret River magic helped his plans fall into place.
Another Margaret River identity, Sullivan McLeod, who is currently working in Melbourne, reached out via social media to offer Mr Bolesta a place to stay, and Mr Bolesta said it would be a nice surprise for his English-born girlfriend, who returns from abroad tomorrow — just in time to get on a flight to Melbourne for the big day.
“She’s not that into football but she supports West Coast,” he said.
“I never miss a game, though I usually enjoy watching the Eagles play at home on the television.”
“I’ve known Sullivan for years – who doesn’t? – and some of the boys and I went travelling around Europe years ago, though Sully couldn’t make it.”
The chance to land on another Margaret River local just south of Richmond was too good to pass up.
He said he and friends would be front and centre on the big day, but it was a quick visit to Victoria before returning to work on Monday.
Mr Bolesta also said he was looking forward to the roaring crowds at the MCG, seen at least by Victorians as Australia’s home of football, though he lamented few in Margaret River had come out to fly the flag for West Coast compared to the passion of football tragics over east.
Mr Bolesta tipped the Eagles to win by two to three goals, betting on an ultimate surplus of at least 13 points.
Another Margaret River identity — former Eagles legend and Norm Smith Medal winner Dean Kemp — is also flying out to Melbourne this weekend after he was asked by his old club to present the premiership cup if the Eagles win.